Amid another playoff-less end to the season, Damian Jones has done enough to earn the backup center spot going into next season. Jones has flourished in extended minutes with Domantas Sabonis and Richaun Holmes out.
After playing on four other teams before coming to Sacramento, Jones is playing the best basketball of his career and is putting up career highs across the board.
Jones has scored in double digits in each of his last eight games and always makes his presence known on the court. A quintessential modern center that can rim run and protect the rim, Jones has flashed even more than that during this extended run of minutes.
Jones has shown a sneaky ability to knock down the mid-range shot, as he has made 16 of 30 shots from that range this season. In addition to that, he has looked competent shooting from three, making nine of his 26 attempts.
If Sabonis is going to be Sacramento’s center long-term, then you need to have someone behind him who can protect the rim. Jones happens to be the rim protector currently on the roster.
Aside from Sabonis, the Kings’ center position is pretty murky, with Alex Len on the books for around $4 Million next year and Richaun Holmes still in the midst of a legal battle with his ex-wife.
Heading into the offseason, a reunion seems mutually beneficial for Jones and the Kings. Jones has played more minutes than season compared to any other season in his career, and after bouncing around the league earlier in his career, he might have found a home in Sacramento.